Creality CR-10 3D Printer Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Setup, and First Prints

Today we are going to take a first look at the Creality CR-10 3D printer. This is a multipart series with the first part being unboxing and initial setup. I have no experience with 3D printing, and when I found out I would be doing this review I was ecstatic. It took a while to get shipped because of the wild popularity at Gearbest. I believe supply has caught up with demand. While waiting I read as much as I could about 3D printing. and I am glad I did. Creality CR-10 3D Printer Specifications 300 x 300 x 400mm build volume Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm Memory card offline print: SD card Prints up to 80mm/s (but slower is better) File format: G-code, JPG, OBJ, STL (I have only done g-code) 1.75mm Software – Cura; octoprint compatible CR-10 3D Printer Unboxing and Setup I had the CR-10 assembled and printing in […]

Karl’s Home Automation Project – Part 3: Adding Light Detection to a Motion Sensor

This is the 3rd part of my Home Automation light project. In the first part, I wrote about basic setup with basic Sonoff Wifi MQTT switches and setting them up. In the second one, we added some 433 MHz motion sensors and a 433 MHz to MQTT bridge. And finally in part 3, we are going to modify the 433 MHz motion sensors to only work when it is dark in the room. Motion Sensor The motion sensor I linked in part 2 is run by a common chip called a BISS0001. We are interested in pin 9. If voltage is below .2v it will not trigger a motion. This solves the problem discussed in part 2, when we have a gloomy day or if blinds are closed etc. By adding an GL5537 LDR (Light Dependent Resistor) shown as R3 in the diagram above, you will achieve the desired effect. […]

Karl’s Home Automation Project – Part 2: 433 MHz / WiFi MQTT Bridge, Door & PIR Motion Sensors

Karl here again for part 2 of my home automation project. We will be looking at how to automate your lights based on time of day and motion. In the first part we setup Home Assistant and uploaded firmware to basic Sonoff Wifi switches. Today we will setup a 433 MHz to MQTT bridge and some sensors. 433 MHz Depending on your country 433 MHz is an open frequency to use to communicate with. There are hundreds of different types of devices that use 433 MHz to communicate information. We will be focusing on 2 today from Gearbest: WMS07 motion sensor (left) and WDS07 door/window sensor (2 parts, right). I am not taking the door/window sensor apart, since it is super basic, but I’ve included some photos of the PIR motion detector. 433 MHz Bridge While contemplating how to get presence on a per room basis I ran across this […]

Karl’s Home Automation Project – Part 1: Home Assistant & YAML, MQTT, Sonoff, and Xmas Lights

Karl here. I am here to write about my home automation project. First thing I want to say is that I am very cost conscious and I don’t mind putting in extra effort into the setup of things to keep costs down. I did invest a lot of time and had to do a lot of reading to get my project going. It took while and I received a lot of groans from my wife while testing. I am still in the process of tweaking things. I started watching a series of videos on YouTube from Bruh Automation. He introduced me to Home Assistant. It got me really excited. He uses a Raspberry Pi as a server but I already had a Wintel Pro CX-W8 Smart TV Box which I use as a server. I run 3 Minecraft Servers, Emby Server, iSpyConnect DVR (2 IP Cameras), Unifi wifi controller, and […]

Xiaomi Mi Box (US) Android TV TV Box Review

Introduction The Mi Box is the first Xiaomi product I have used. I received it beginning of December and have been using it regularly since then. I have received 3 updates which went through uneventfully. I was very pleased with this box. I ended up getting one for my in-laws and one for my 4 year old sons bedroom. The UI worked as expected. I have an Nvidia Shield Android TV, and the Mi Box complements it very well. Having Plex Server running on the Shield and Plex on the Mi Box is pretty fantastic to easily share content. Not to mention way more cost effective than putting a Shield in every room. What’s Inside The build quality is good. The power supply puts out 5.2v which is not typical. I do wish it had more USB ports. A single USB is inadequate. I found myself swapping USB out frequently […]

YokaTV KB2 Review – Amlogic S912 TV Box with 32 GB Flash

CNXSoft: This is another review by Karl about Amlogic S912 based YokaTV KB2 TV box. Introduction Today we will be looking at Videostrong YokaTV KB2. Below are the specs from Videostrong website. This is my first S912 device so I had high expectation. I have been using it for quite some time now with no major issues. I received approximately 6 OTA updates since I started testing and some welcome updates have come. Build When I receive a box first thing I do is take it apart and check out the inside. I was excited when I found out it had 32 gig of storage. It is not too common. Then when I opened the box I was really happy to see an antenna that wasn’t soldered on. Makes it easy to add a different one. +1 for KB2. Then I noticed the heat sink. It seemed a little small. […]

Tanix TX5 Pro TV Box Review – Part 2: Modding and Testing

Karl here with part 2 of Tanix TX5 Pro TV box. In the first part we peaked inside took a look at the specs and quick look at the UI. In part 2, we will get into the nitty gritty. When I first received the box there were several issues: Play Store incompatibility, issue with language reverting to Chinese, and green screen on YouTube. Tanix quickly followed up with an update and resolved these issues. Stuck in my ways So I have to admit that I am pretty stuck in my ways when it comes to the way I use Android. It started long ago with my first stick the MK808 with Rockchip Rk3066. It was basically the phone version of Android on the TV and I really liked it. We have come a long way since then and some changes have occurred in the box market UI, like the […]

Tanix TX5 Pro TV Box Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Teardown, and Hands-on

Karl here with Tanix TX5 Pro S905X review. This is my first s905x box. I am splitting this into 2 parts because software is not quite up to snuff yet. I ran into some issues with language reverting back to default which is Chinese. This happens so frequently it is unbearable. I can almost read Chinese now. Youtube only shows green square with audio, and finally most apps show incompatible in the Play Store. I have notified Gearbest who is going to contact the manufacturer. On the bright side I am very pleased with UI compared to the s905 boxes I have reviewed. Specs pulled from GearBest Website General Model: TX5 Pro Type: TV Box GPU: Mali-450 System: Android 6.0 CPU: Amlogic S905X Core: 2.0GHz,Quad Core RAM: 2G ROM: 16G Max. Extended Capacity: TF card up to 32GB (not included) Color: Black Media Supported Decoder Format: H.265 Video format: 1080P,H.264,H.265,MPEG-1,MPEG2,MPEG4,VC-1,VP9 […]

GENESYSM-TGU6 3.5-inch SBC